Mike inspires me every day.
His positive attitude had always amazed me. Shortly after we started dating, his mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Soon after that, his grandfather passed away. We were married in Oct. 1988 and the following Feb ('89) his dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He passed away in November of 1989. Not long after that, his beloved Aunt died, as well as his other grandfather. In 1992 his mom passed away and not long after that his grandmother passed away. It seemed that the first few years of our marriage were spent in funeral homes. It was not a good way to start off our marriage, yet throughout all the loss, Mike remained upbeat. He never lost his faith and remained positive. Thankfully, I had not suffered much loss back then, and I could not understand how someone who had lost so many family members could be so "positive". His faith in God carried him through and he passed that faith onto me.
It seems like such a cruel twist of fate that once we got married, purchased a home, had children and just began starting our new life together, that Mike was stricken with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. When we had Courtney and Brandon, Mike was so hurt that his parents were not around to see their grandchildren. He ached for their approval and support as he began his journey into parenthood. True to Mike's personality, his immediate reaction upon being diagnosed was his concern for me and the kids. He could have been so angry and bitter, yet he kept his faith. It was only after this horrific disease turned ugly, did he ask "why me?". Mike was robbed of watching his children mature into the wonderful human beings they are. He missed practically their entire childhood and for a man who wanted SO MUCH to be the best dad, it hurt him terribly.
Since he has been sick, and unable to communicate, my dad, his brother and his grandmother have also passed away. Mike has suffered SO MUCH loss that it makes my heart ache. When I look at him, I just want to cry. Sometimes I do, but other times I feel his strength and inspiration and I remain strong in the faith that he has brought back to me. He is my true inspiration......